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Write Right Now (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles)


Summer is movin’ right along, in search of good times and good news. Even if you’re not on the road, you’re definitely on the road. For this week’s creative prompts, the theme is exploration. Take a moment to venture forward in writing or art, whatever your medium may be.

As you pick your prompt and begin working, here’s a hint: don’t worry if you don’t exactly follow directions, or if you start writing (or painting or dancing or singing) and your project begins to go down a different path. This exercise isn’t about following the rules, it’s just about getting your creative brain working and getting things done.

  • Do an English-to-English translation of your favorite poem or a paragraph from your favorite book. What do you love about this piece? The language? The action? The setting? How would you rewrite it yourself?
  • Fictionalize a scene from the point of view of one of these women explorers.
  • Recall a time when you moved bravely into a space—whether geographic, emotional, or otherwise—where you’d never set foot before.
  • Revisit this yellow wood and recall a fork in the road (metaphorical or literal).
  • Take yourself to a place where you don’t usually hang out. A new trail or park? A coffee shop that just opened up? Take some time to absorb it slowly, 360 degrees. Use all of your senses. Then, write it! Describe your surroundings in great detail. For an added challenge, try to be alliterative.
  • Choose one of these tools of exploration and invent an alternative use for it.
  • Write a scene, or memory, of an exploration gone wrong.
  • Search ‘exploration’ or ‘voyage’ in Google Books and use Tools to limit your time range to the 19th century. Use these materials as a starting point for your creative journey: steal vocabulary, create an erasure, “update” a part of the text to make it contemporary.
  • Consider one or more of the following medical applications in writing: exploration medicineextreme medicinemedical discoveries from ocean exploring, and exploratory surgery.
  • Imagine going inside something you can’t literally go inside of, like a man-made object, a part of nature, or your own head.

Did you miss earlier prompts lists? Here they are.

Like what you’ve written? Put it away for a week, then revisit and when it’s ready to go, submit. If you have feedback, or ideas for prompts, please get in touch.

[Art by Submittable team member Ben Bloch: “Fall Trees by The Highway” Acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 40″]